Yard Theft Prevention without a Fence (Due to Council)

So over the past year or so we've been having people wander into the garden - all around the house, not just from the mail box to door (no it's not the mail man, he's a drop and dash kinda guy) and take our stuff, plants, tools, etc. Just installing cameras today, though we have caught the people red handed and they don't give a damn, often they're walkers but the other day one aunty drove up and when spotted said she was here to collect, and had to have the plant taken from her. We can't have a fence/gate due to the property location and council. Any tips? There have been multiple offenders all aunties/uncles, ballsy they come to collect or take what they want even after been confronted, one said he'll send his people to collect the plants. Which he indeed did, as the plants he said he was interested in were snatched.

Has this happened to anyone else?

We do have a dog often in the yard, alas he's friendly and probably will be snatched too at some point. Have consulted a friend, she laughed and said this is why you live compound or have security on site. She says they'll just take the camera as well as plants next time… and she wasn't joking.

As Halloween is coming up we're going to have creative deco, skeletons hanging from the old oak with a noose, warning signs all that. Tips for waterproofing it very appreciated, as hardware stores are closed, and that stuff been flammable can't be posted it seems, also none within 5km.

TLDR; 1. Plant theft by aunty/uncle, council says no to having a fence/gates, what to do?
2. Tips on waterproofing Halloween deco to be used year round outdoors appreciated.

Comments

    • +1 vote

      or a 24/7 live stream where people can give tips when something gets nicked or something interesting happens

    • +1 vote

      Always fond of some small change glued to the ground, thats always great to watch people's frustration trying to pick up 20c

    • +3 votes

      yardcamsaustraliA

    •  

      There's heaps of videos of ring doorcams etc. Catching thieves red handed o. YouTube.

  • +3 votes

    Curious about the council saying you cant have a fence, as others have said above. Do you have this in writing with their explanation of why?

    I'm only aware of corner properties having fence height restrictions, to allow traffic to have a clear line of vision around the corner.

    I'm assuming that means "solid" fences like colourbond or super66 are height limited, however it might be worth asking the council if you could put in a chain link fence (like you see at parks) or a metal picket fence that is normal height but still allows full visibility for traffic.

    •  

      Yes we're on the corner. Sadly everything (tradies) is closed but we're looking into alternatives, especially as I assume we'll have video proof as to why we need it.

      •  

        As has been suggested, plant a hedge - a prickly hedge. That's what I've done and will be doing some more of in the next few weeks.

      • +1 vote

        Shame on you, OP.
        You incorrectly claim in your title that you cannot have a fence due to council permit rejection.
        Now you have changed your story to that of tradies being closed. So, which is it?

  •  

    That's just horrible.

    Out of curiosity, are the front yard gates of other houses unlocked? And is that enough to deter them?

    FYI, there are eyeball/turret type cameras with all-metal enclosures that are somewhat difficult to steal: https://www.amazon.com/EmpireTech-IPC-T5442T-ZE-Vari-Focal-E...

    If you have plenty of spare time you could invest in a home-automation system and install motion sensors and 120db sirens/screamers, taking care to turn them off quickly to not bother your neighbours.

    If you have even more time you could add number plate recognition and face recognition to your security camera system, which you could pass on to the police.

    • +1 vote

      The neighbours have open yards/no pot plants/just lawn - we have plants leading from the driveway and all around the house, orchids on the side. Aunty/uncle has done a self guided tour…

  •  

    plant those japanese door entry sensor all around lol!

  • +12 votes

    Smash them in the face with a baseball bat. The stealing will soon stop.

    •  

      I don't know why this gets a down vote. Seems fair to me.

      • +1 vote

        haha I thought this throwaway comment would have gotten voted into oblivion, but seriously stand up to them. OP sounds like an extreme push over. If someone was looting my backyard they'd be calling the cops on me.

        •  

          I'm not, but he is - he's afraid of retaliation.

  • +13 votes

    This seems very strange behaviour.
    I’ve lived in places with no fence without anything like this happening.
    You also seem to suggest some people were saying the were “picking up” a plant as if it was given away on gumtree or Facebook marketplace or something.

    I guess what I am saying, is why are people invading your yard?
    Is somebody playing a trick/prank/revenge on you?

    No idea what your acquaintance is suggesting about living in gated communities being the answer. For nearly all of Australia, the behaviour you are describing just doesn’t occur, or happens very infrequently.

    • -2 votes

      It sounds like you haven't spent much time in Melbourne, in the past few years at least.

      • +5 votes

        I've never lived in Melbourne. Is strangers taking plants from the front yard really a daily occurrence?

        • +3 votes

          No, it absolutely is not.

        • +4 votes

          Depends, in poor areas they dig them up too, but our area rare but happens. Esp with rumoured cheaper rent during these times - idk if that's true though. We're a target because we have enough stuff/plants to look like a nursery.

        • +2 votes

          I'm not sure about plants, but smaller items disappear very easily. It seems these are seen as negligible crimes, and the police wouldn't waste resources hunting down the criminals, so they feel free to do what they like.

          I have some friends in the city who have very clear footage of a guy opening their front gate like that was his own home and walking away with a bunch of their things.
          They said when the police came over they didn't even look at the footage and gave them pretty much no hope of doing anything about it.

          I heard a few similar stories from other friends, and one of them in the inner north even had his car stolen from his front yard in the middle of the day, while he was working from home, and ran out to chase the thieves.

          This all happened this year alone, so you draw your own conclusion, maybe they were all unlucky? Or maybe I just know all the people that get their stuff stolen.

          • -1 vote

            @RiseAndRuin:

            I have some friends in the city who have very clear footage of a guy opening their front gate like that was his own home and walking away with a bunch of their things.

            Must be an issue in the city, and we know which people live there.

      • -1 vote

        Yeah, I've lived in Melbourne and this is not something common.

    • +1 vote

      I agree with the strange behaviour. I was wondering if someone has advertised the address as some sort of free garage sale.

    • +6 votes

      Why are people invading your yard? Because they can, and some might say it's a free country. But hmm.. how do I say this? Tired of coding, they're likely Indian-ish. Expect this to get negged. My friend in Forrest Hill has had her plants outside the fence dug up and stolen. Pots are an easy game, esp when you've scouted out the place (aunty is a repeat offender) by foot and have driven to collect.

      Have played the prank game before - ex house mates stealing my food, hacking my email/lib card, creating p0rn accounts with my not sexy work pictures, all that stuff. People who know my name don't come around and attack in person. Wow am I glad that cyber bullying wasn't a thing and there were no smart phones when I was at school.

      • +1 vote

        I'm not far from that area and it's been an issue, especially when the councils landscape and put plants or saplings on nature strips or traffic dividers (the long ones) are cleaned out quickly at times. Either people are stealing them to plant themselves or to re-pot and then try sell for cash?

    •  

      I would assume that anastasiastarz has at least a large proportion of cactus and succulent plants these are getting ridiculous prices at the moment it is not uncommon now to see plants going for $100 plus in 63mm pots.

      •  

        A few succulents but mainly orchids.

  • +2 votes

    Move. It is like you're trapped in your own home by roving band of looters.

  • +10 votes

    hardware stores are closed, and that stuff been flammable can't be posted it seems, also none within 5km

    So you're in metro Melbourne under lockdown, these people aren't even meant to be out and about.
    Spray them with a hose.
    Egg their car.
    Tip buckets of flour on them.
    Launch the ammo supplied by your dog.
    Do whatever you like and if they want to call the cops, let them; they're the ones who will be fined $1652 for not staying home.

    •  

      lol we're still working on identification and tracking. But if I see them again… he's afraid of retaliation though: neighbour had a brick through the car window because attackers thought it was us.

      • +1 vote

        What? What did you allegedly do that caused such retaliation?

    •  

      these people aren't even meant to be out and about.

      I don't think telling these people will stop them.

  •  

    Big (profanity) dog!

    Plant theft by aunty/uncle

    Aunty as in parent's sister/cousin or Aunty as in Aunty Gladys Berejiklian.

  • +4 votes

    Did you ever think of calling the police?

    • +4 votes

      We will once we have video evidence.

    •  

      Was just thinking how all this time stealing is against the law. So if you've caught them red handed and they still think it's all fine then what good would a fence do? (Assuming it still has an entry/exit)

      A fence is kinda useless without a big sign saying thieves will be reported to police and council … until they steal the sign too :P

  • +4 votes

    You need to sort out your relatives.

  • +2 votes

    Shotgun with rock salt slugs …few shots should make them think twice !

    • +3 votes

      Wouldn't rock salt kill the slugs?

      •  

        You're right, 00-SG's will have to do.

  •  

    Capture the theft on video, and have the police deal with those thieves. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable.

    • +17 votes

      The cops won't do shit, just fill in a report form and wait till donkey fly,

      •  

        I can vouch this but only from noise complaints (neighbour has 5 kids under 10, scream crying all day long - I work night shift).

  •  

    Plant a hedge

    • +2 votes

      of punji sticks

  •  

    get a mean dog on a long leash

  • +1 vote

    plant some poison ivy ?

  • +3 votes

    Move to a better area.

  • +4 votes

    You need to set booby traps.
    Couple of Punji pits.
    "They drew first blood, not me."

  •  

    I feel for you OP. We having the similar problem where people in particular those people * auntie " in particular coming into our front lawn and start digging and stealing whatever and whenever they feel like it.

    •  

      Someone said concrete them. We know people who can do that for you. Did you follow her home? Did she walk/drive? People here scout walking but come back to collect driving.

  •  

    You have the right to protect your property. I’d say go back to council and come to am agreement. Even a picket fence with a gate would be useful than nothing.

    • +1 vote

      Even a picket fence with a gate would be useful than nothing.

      No joke they open the gate and let themselves in. I saw with my own eyes, I think you will need high fence wall to block them out.

      • +1 vote

        if somebody comes through my fence to steal things like that, they’re going to have a really bad time. doesn’t matter if they’re older / younger.

  • +1 vote

    motion sensor sprinkler

  •  

    I didn't read your whole post, but quite quickly

    you can address no fence planning rules usually with landscaping,
    - use rocks,
    - plants,
    - bushes
    and other landscape elements, ie metal edging, fountains

    other deterrents are spot lights, or sensor lighting, the brighter the more likely you shock some one coming onto your lawn at night

  • +1 vote

    Use a Paint ball gun if you catch them red handed. The soreness they get will teach them a lesson . Make sure to keep Cameras working in case they decide to complain to police. By any chance you in western suburbs in Melbourne?

  • +1 vote

    Step 1: Practice the phrase, "It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again" for when you catch one of these trouble makers.
    Step 2: Build a big pit in your front yard.

  •  

    No doubt i will be down voted, This where self defense weapons laws help. These people obviously don't care about the law or have respect for fellow humans but i bet if you where armed they would think twice.

    On another note plant some hedges? Its technically not a fence but it acts like a fence. You just need to have them planted long enough to not get stolen lol.

    •  

      I honestly wonder what are the lines of allowable self defense… Would having an air cannon that fires bean bags at a safe enough speed be okay?

      •  

        I doubt it. You can get done for wetting some one with a hose lol.
        Maybe buy a drone and fly it into people breaking into the yard. Say it was an accident.

        Another issue with not having a fence is if some one gets hurts on your property they can sue you. There is no clear indication of what is council land and the home owners land.

  • +7 votes

    So Uncle Roger and Aunty Hersha now tired of egg fried rice videos, now want to gain fame by plant theft?

    /s

  •  

    Move

  • +1 vote

    Sounds like a shitty neighborhood. Would you mind letting me know what postcode is this? So that i can avoid…

    •  

      Mt Waverley - but it's rare (been here 30yrs) and only increasing now due to the whole world has discovered walking it seems like. Most theft here is done by the neighbour's tradies (that old bat encourages them to help themselves then plays dumb) - but she's gone now.

  •  

    Have you contacted the Police?

  • +3 votes

    Well seeing as Halloween is around the corner you would need a decent looking corpse to hang from the tree. Why not get a fresh one and get started on them early so they can really look the part come Halloween.

    If your not into that stuff then I'd go the sprinkler set up with a syphonage system with food colouring so that when the water runs through the hose it takes the food colouring as well for a nice arty spray outcome.

  • +3 votes

    Should you consider an agricultural type electric fence? They are basically harmless but give a real jolt to folk who are not familiar with them.
    I know of colleagues who have been unexpectedly shocked by an electric fence and had have been traumatised for a few hours after the event.

  • +3 votes

    Not the same but an associate had a cat rummaging through their yard at night so he setup sprinklers on a motion sensor. The cat doesn't come by anymore

  •  

    Setup a motion activated sprinkler system

  •  

    Don't know if something like this exists, but motion sensor alarms hidden in plant pots that scream when moved?

    •  

      They exist and work - I had one in my bag in college (girls like to go through my stuff). But they're not as loud outside.

  • +1 vote

    complain to the police. and council. do not treat these people as respectable. they are criminals.

  •  

    In the past I've had whole rose bushes plucked out of my garden by passers-by; the fact that they were behind a fence didn't help much…

  •  

    Neighbourhood watch in your area? Maybe post to Facebook groups that report crime in your area? You need your neighbours help. They might know about it. I would put any items in the back or a more secure area. That's where lights plus your cams should be on. Or even roll out knee high plastic construction fences or any other barriers/"traps". Lights in general will help. You can do a non urgent report with the dates of all the incidents, number plates etc and the car bricking to police. If they come back, you want to report trespass and stealing. It's best if they are caught while they are doing the crime. So make it hard for them to get in and out.

  •  

    Psychologically, an open gate is an invite.

    You not having fences does not visually delineate a barrier. It is as if you have left the gate open.

    If you want this opens… then have nothing of value out in sight.

    Wake up…. wake up…. to what society is like in the year 2020

  • -1 vote

    Automated drone army with tasers. They can't steal your stuff if they're on the ground being tased <3

  • +5 votes

    I had this problem growing up in a poor area of Brisbane.
    Large pot plants out the front would go missing - some would have needed 2 men and a ute to take.
    We solved the problem by chaining the plants together with a thin chain. It would have been easy to remove with bolt-cutters, but too much effort for the person wandering past down the street.
    The plants were never stolen again.

  •  

    Glitter stink bomb with cameras and gps tracking … please share the videos on youtube … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_TSR_v07m0

  •  

    Electric fence, pit bull and dangerous dog signs.

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/garden/landscaping/wir...

  •  

    Audible alarms? Motion sensor alarm? Even those infrared laser alarm switches?
    I feel motion sensor light in the middle of the night may stun them, but doesn't draw enough attention. Something audible might frighten them off more effectively. The infrared laser ones at least you can put at a height that most animals will not trigger.
    Tough one, but good luck

  •  

    What suburb is this?

  • +3 votes

    Record loud gunshot sounds and play it when you see the aunties/uncles in your yard at night. Might give them a heart attack.

    Are they the same people, same nationality? What's the socio-economic status of your neighbourhood?

    Have you done anything bad to anyone and are they getting back at you - check Gumtree for free plants and your address, etc

  • +1 vote

    Plants vs Aunties

    Hope you get this resolved soon.

  •  

    Get Pitbull and your all issues will be resolved

  • +1 vote

    Hose them down with yard hose.

    •  

      Would be soo tempting to do but wondering if that would be seen as assault?

  • +2 votes

    Is there the chance that someone is trying to sell your things on gumtree, and telling their customers to go collect at your address?

    Not sure if the police in your local area are reliable, but if you haven't reported the thefts already, you'll certainly want to once you have irrefutable evidence on hand.
    If they want to come and collect a potplant, willy-nilly, they can keep a criminal record.

  •  

    Dress six mannequins or sex dolls as as the power rangers.

    • +4 votes

      … and watch them go that night.

  • +1 vote

    Follow the aunties and uncles home and collect your items there?

    • +2 votes

      One of my first thoughts too, but that would involve a stakeout and we know they'll be back but when….

  • +3 votes

    electric fence with 12V battery

    I got zapped by one of these in the Black Forest area of Germany - cute Swiss cows – no barbed wire fence like ‘straya - they were just the other side of a tiny blue wire but wouldn't come to my hand – they stayed back away from the fence - I'd never seen quite like it before

    what could possibly go wrong - I couldn't help leaning over the fence to try to stroke the beautiful fluffy caramel coat - '##ZAP!!!###' - OW ! A painful jolt through my hand that left me wincing for a few minutes ! I won't be doing that again.

    so yeah - a nice little thin blue line - so next time plant stealer leans over to pull out one of your plants … kapowza - I can guarantee they won't do that again !

    keep it just inside your property line - your home is your castle, etc. - maybe about 40cm high all around your lovely flower bed - so they're just gonna accidentally touch it even if they try not to …

    • +1 vote

      Occupier’s liability? I supposed those cheapskates who stole their stuff would threaten and feign an injury from the electric shock on their property.

  • +2 votes

    Great suggestions so far! A few extra below:

    • Vicious dogs
    • Giant Tesla coil
    • Snipers
    • Tripwires
    • Camouflaged punji pit
    • IEDs
    • Golden pot-plant on a plinth / falling boulder trap

    Seriously though OP, this is really shitty behaviour from people. Please inform the police and keep an eye on your security footage. You could consider buying some anti-theft powder and regularly sprinkling it over your plants. It's colourless until it comes into contact with skin, which it stains bright purple. Might discourage the thieves from coming back and make them easier for the cops to identify. Obviously I have no idea whether this stuff harms or reacts with plants, so you'd want spot test it first.